UPDATE 2-Oil surge helps Toronto stocks jump 120 pts

Mon Feb 11, 2008 1:01pm EST
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TORONTO Feb 11 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index rose more than 120 points on Monday as energy firms followed a strong rise in crude and natural gas prices.

U.S. oil futures shot up more than 2 percent to above $94 a barrel in response to a threat from Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to cut off oil supplies to the United States. For details, see: [nN09548263]

TSX oil and gas firms, which represent about 25 percent of the overall index, climbed 1.6 percent on the prospect of a ramp up in demand from the United States, the world's top fuel consumer.

Overall, the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 129.51 points, or 1 percent, at 13,118.85 by early afternoon. It had been relatively flat for much of the morning.

Natural gas futures also rose, helping to lift EnCana (ECA.TO: Quote) C$1.45 to C$68.70, and Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote) C$2.00 to C$96.79.

Materials shares, including miners and metals producers, also added some leverage, rising 1.8 percent amid firm gold and base metal prices.

Fertilizer producer Potash Corp of Saskatchewan (POT.TO: Quote) was the biggest weighted gainer, up C$5.80 at C$143.22.

Other sectors in positive terrain included utilities, up 0.6 percent, and information technology, up 1.9 percent.   Continued...